Anna Belleforte

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urban planning on a tropical island

Posted by Anna Belleforte on February 2, 2019 at 11:45 AM

From an urban design (and undoubtedly Western) perspective, my hands are itching to get started and plan some spaces for pedestrian ease. There’s little concept of public space here. Perhaps the spaces for public gathering are the temples, but outside of these, areas like sidewalks normally given to public use are almost always taken over by adjacent property owners for displaying of wares, café seating, parking, etc. and walkers are forced to diverge onto the busy road. (Why not require all property developers to reserve a narrow strip of land for a promenade into Duong Dong town?)

The waterways have more appeal: bursting with colours, worn woods, curvaceous shapes, open spaces and reflected skies. It’s especially the turquoises that pop. There’s a clear sense of pride in keeping these boats looking good and giving them character. And even giving them eyes – whether to ward off bad spirits or give the boat itself a spirit, I don’t know. What’s clear is that the boats clustered together form a city of their own.

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